The timing of the dragon fruit season and this year’s United Fresh LIVE! show couldn’t be better for one grower and distributor.
“We are expecting our dragon fruit season to begin in Mexico by the end of May, which will be a perfect opportunity for us to display the crop during the show,” says Jonas Alvarez of Sweet Seasons LLC based in Pharr, TX. He adds that Sweet Seasons expects to grow and market approximately 300 tons of dragon fruit this year—a three-fold increase compared to last year’s yield.
“The popularity of dragon fruit in North America has grown steadily for the past few years and, although the current health crisis poses a challenge to virtually every industry in the country, we believe consumer interest in dragon fruit will remain strong,” says Alvarez. He adds that currently dragon fruit is seeing high pricing as it faces competing product from Vietnam and Ecuador, two countries dominating the market. “However, that’s likely to change gradually within a few weeks as more regions enter into production.”
And in fact, a new venture into how Sweet Seasons sells its products will be the focus of a company announcement at the show. “This year we’ve launched the initial phase of our brand-new online retail store,” says Alvarez. “The United Fresh LIVE! show is the ideal place to announce it.”
Sweet Seasons isn’t new to the United Fresh show, taking place this year June 15-19. This is the third year the company is exhibiting at the show. “It proved to be an exceptional opportunity for meeting new customers and building long-term business relationships,” says Alvarez. “And initially, the idea of going to San Diego was appealing.
But now we believe the new virtual format can potentially create more diverse opportunities by attracting people that might otherwise find it difficult to attend. This is a new experience for most of us, but we are up to the challenge.”